Tom Hanks is no stranger to playing larger-than-life characters on the big screen. In his latest film, Elvis, he takes on the role of Colonel Tom Parker. While Parker was instrumental in launching Elvis’ career, their partnership was often fraught with tension.

What the movie ‘Elvis’ is about

The film chronicles Elvis’ early years, starting with his humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi.  From there, we see him rise to stardom and become one of the most famous musicians in the world. Along the way, we also see the Colonel’s manipulation of Elvis and how it led to the singer’s eventual downfall.

Baz Luhrmann said that “Elvis is a film that tries to see him through the lens of now. Therefore some of the things that feel truthful about him might not have been truthful about him then.” It was also announced that the film will feature never before seen performances by Elvis Presley.

The film’s cast and crew

Charting his early years as a struggling artist, the film will offer insight into Elvis’ creative process and how he came to create some of his most iconic tracks. In addition, the film will explore Elvis’ personal life, including his relationships with friends, family, and fellow musicians. Elvis has an all-star cast and crew including Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, alongside Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, David Wenham, and Kelvin Harrison Jr., and directed by Baz Luhrmann and written by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.

Looking back at Elvis Presley’s Life and Career

Elvis Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King”. Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee with his family when he was 13 years old. His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. Presley’s first RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel”, was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, made him enormously popular—and controversial.

In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Drafted into military service in 1958, he finally returned to the U.S. in 1960 to resume his recording career. He achieved New York Times Best Sellers list results with several of his most famous recordings released during the 1960s, including “A Big Hunk o’ Love”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, and “Suspicious Minds”. He celebrated the 10th anniversary of his rise to stardom with a television special, Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert engagement that broke box office records. 

In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed television comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours throughout the decade. Presley was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and he won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award, and Entertainer of the Century Award. He died suddenly in 1977 at his Graceland estate at the age of 42.

Elvis has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986), the Memphis Music Hall of Fame (1987), and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (2001). In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 49 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2018, Presley was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.